There are films that come out that when you see them, you are absolutely blown away by it. You like the movie so much that when you hear that there is a sequel coming out, you really don’t mind seeing it. That was definitely the case with today’s film in Now You See Me 2. Since the events of the first film the horseman J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), and Jack Wilder (Dave Franco) have gone into hiding awaiting the chance that they can work again. When the horseman are pulled out of retirement with the addition of a new female magician in Lulu (Lizzy Caplan) by their and FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo), they learn that they are part of a plan by an evil tech genius to pull off their most impossible heist ever. Can the team do it or with they finally correct the wrongs? The film also stars Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption) as Thaddeus Bradley, Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire) as Walter Mabry, Michael Caine (The Dark Knight) as Arthur Tressler, Jay Chou (The Green Hornet) as Li, Sanaa Lathan (Blade) as Deputy Director Natalie Austin, Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Anna Karenina) as Allen Scott-Frank, and the film was directed by Jon M. Chu (Jem And The Holograms).
One of the biggest reasons to see these films is because you want to see what kind of magic are they going to do and see how clever they really were. You also go to see these films for all the sleek stunts and the technology they incorporate with the tricks even though a big part of them is fighting technology and all the evil it can create. The film starts off by reminding us of who they are and what they’ve done in the past to build up these ragtag magicians up. The movie also really focuses on what happened to Mark Ruffalo’s character’s father and why he is on this revenge kick. We also see our crew evolve and become a solid team right before our very eyes as they battle the evil technology crazed world. I thought I was going to be disappointed that Isla Fisher wasn’t in the film, but I have to give credit to Lizzy Caplan for fitting right in with the crew. She added a certain wittiness to the tea by being there. The magic tricks of course are pretty cool, but my favorite thing is when they break down how they accomplished them in the first place. That is what I loved about the first film and that is what I loved in this film. Daniel Radcliffe is awesome as a really douchy guy with crap tons of money while Freeman and Caine were brilliant as always. Is it better than the first film, I don’t really think so, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have it’s moments. I enjoyed the film enough to give it a grade that is somewhere between the B+/A- range. It’s somewhere in there.
There are so many different spy movies in the world today and the question always remains what makes them different than any Bond film ever released. In 2015, they finally released Kingsman: The Secret Service worldwide and I didn’t see it until now. For Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton), there is much point to be a good ole boy when you come from the wrong side of town. That is until you are bailed out of jail by a man (Colin Firth) who claims to have known your father (that you never got to know). Eggsy is recruited to join a very secretive spy organization known as the Kingsmen, a group modeled after King Arthur and his round table. The organization needs a new recruit when one of their own is killed by a mad man named Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) looking to rid the world of humans because of global warming. Now it’s up to them to save the world before it’s too late. The film also stars Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes) as Merlin, Jack Davenport (Pirates Of The Caribbean: Curse Of The Black Pearl) as Lancelot, Michael Caine (The Dark Knight) as Arthur, Sofia Boutella (Monsters: Dark Continent) as Gazelle, Mark Hamill (Star Wars: A New Hope) as Professor Arnold, and the film was directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass).
The only thing I regret about this movie is that I didn’t see it earlier than this, but better late than never. This is yet another film that I truly enjoyed watching this month and that is kind of the point of this blog. The film has tons of action in it, plenty of that dry British humor that we all love, and a really cool villain. He’s not your stereotypical villain with his lisp, but he has a bad ass hench-woman by his side. The woman has prosthetic’s with swords or blades on the ends of them and she can slice dudes up with them. Kingsman is actually a breath of fresh air for the spy genre for people looking for something different. If the film is a spoof like people say it is then I’ll gladly take another serving of the film from the franchise. If they play their cards right this is definitely a series that could be around for quite some time as long as the writing is good. One of my favorite scenes in the film is definitely when Colin Firth’s character goes into the church and it’s a bloody massacre in there. That is such a cool action sequence that just blew me away. Some of the special effects in the film are very good especially with a head exploding sequence at the end that is very colorful. Oh and Hanna Alström has an amazing asset that she shows off at the end of the film. This is definitely another favorite of mine that is going to make picking a clear and concise top 25 very difficult at the end of the month. With that being said, I am going to give the film an A-/A because it lies somewhere between those two.
For today’s film, I was interested in see The Last Witch Hunter, but enough at the time to see it in theaters. This was one of my I’ll wait till it’s out on Redbox before I see it type of movies. The film stars Vin Diesel (Furious 7) as Kaulder, a man cursed by the witch queen to live forever as he has hunted down witches for centuries. One day, Kaulder’s 36TH Dolan (Michael Caine) is put under a curse by an elusive witch who practices a form of witch craft that hasn’t been seen since Kaulder killed the witch queen 800 years before. With the help of his 37TH Dolan (Elijah Wood) and a dream walker witch named Chloe (Rose Leslie), Kaulder will go on the hunt to save his friend and the world from the plagues before it is too late. The film also stars Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty) as Belial, Rena Owen (Star Wars: Episode III- Revenge Of The Sith) as Glaeser, Julie Engelbrecht (The Red Baron) as The Witch Queen, Joseph Gilgun (This Is England) as Ellic, Isaach De Bankole (Casino Royale) as Max Schlesinger, Dawn Olivieri (American Hustle) as Danique, and the film was directed by Breck Eisner (The Crazies).
The film was essentially a box office flop for the studio as the budget was over 80 million and they only grossed 27 million at the box office. I don’t think people really gave this film it’s fair shake because it was actually entertaining in my opinion. The film had some pretty cool concepts that went with it and the visual imagery and effects is what is actually stunning. There are some sequences in the film that are actually very cool to see and that is what captured me about the film. As I said the special effects are good, there is plenty of action to go around in the film, and the story was actually pretty well written as well. Listen I always tell people that you shouldn’t expect the greatest story every unfolded on the silver screen with Vin Diesel (unless it’s Guardians Of The Galaxy), You should expect a film that is action pact and bad ass. That is what Vin Diesel movies are all about since day one. The acting in the film was great and you shouldn’t be surprised with a cast that features the great Michael Caine. This could have been an Ass Whoopin Wednesday film for sure, but that’s OK because there’s plenty more films out there. This was definitely a film that was cool to watch and I truly enjoyed it. However, for a final grade I am going to give the movie a B for a final grade because it’s not the best Vin Diesel film.